Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 


In the whirlwind of July and August - harvest time - with amazing weather this year, there have been many things that I want to share with you. I've been a little bit tied up. 

I sense the stick. Let me slip the bounds of responsibility and chase the stick. 

Pressure washing decks all decked out in raingear and safety glasses. 

In this temperate rainforest algae grows in the corners, even on the painted metal of the boat deck. Scrubbing with a brush just doesn't get it all, so I chased it away with the pressure washer.

There has been more painting, cleaning, moving stuff around....but all of that is pretty boring. The early blueberries are ripe, thimbleberries are coming on, and a few mushrooms even showed up after a recent rain!

I am headed out to the berry patch. Must pick berries! 


Untie the seine line. I will chase the stick!

Oval-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium

Oh, climbing through a blueberry patch in the sun, picking those delightful blue orbs! Berries on cereal, sweet jam, and enough in the freezer for blueberry pie in January when the world is white!

I use a picker to harvest blueberries, gently combing the tips of the tines through the branches. The weather has been a bit dry for this type of blueberry, but the darker Alaska blueberry is coming on, and they might have had a better year.

Time for a walk with my sweetheart. 

Darner dragonfly stopping by for a visit.

We went for a walk near a stream and the dragonflies were flitting about. One flew near and turned toward me. I said hello to it and held my arm out, and it landed on my wrist!

Grinning dragonfly. 

It sat contentedly, seemingly smiling, even grooming its eyes with its legs, while the love of my life pulled a point-and-shoot camera out of the backpack so I could take a few photos.  After spending time with dragonflies and posting about them recently, this small connection made me giddy!

My sweetie and I continued on after the dragonfly went about its way. The forest was dry enough that we could sit on the moss without getting soaked, which is unusual in Southeast Alaska! The creek was very low. We watched fingerlings in the water, spiders on their webs, and commented on how the highbush cranberries are going to take another week or two to ripen. Then, just a little ways from the stream, his sharp eyes caught a hint of golden brown in the forest floor.

Chanterelle mushrooms

Golden chanterelles

A golden chanterelle, just right for harvest. 

I check each mushroom to be sure that it is a chanterelle. On the underside of the cap it has ridges that often branch like veins.

Chanterelle in Southeast Alaska

On the way back to the boat I admired thimbleberries growing by the roadside. 

Thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus

The red ones are ripe. Picking these delicate berries will turn your fingers red. They must be eaten or processed right away, or they will mold very quickly. Thimbleberries are small and have LOTS of little seeds, so they are not a favorite of many people, but I pick a few each year, and enjoy them.

They have showy blossoms earlier in the year.  

A bumblebee working thimbleberry blossoms. 

And it is time to go back to the boat and ready it for a small adventure.  

Enjoy your summer outings! 

Alaska Beachcomber

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